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The Sports Daily > Red's Army
Recap: IT’s red hot 4th quarter salvages win over Mavs

The Celtics played about 18 minutes of good basketball tonight and it was just enough to beat the Dirk-less Mavericks, 90-83.

The first quarter was glorious. Led by Wes Unseld Avery Bradley’s 12 points and 6 rebounds, the Cs jumped out front 29-17. The team was running and rebounding. You could smell a blowout.

And then the 2nd quarter happened. The Celtics stopped running and started bricking 3s (0-7 in the quarter). They were outscored 14-10. We suffered through more of the same in the 3rd quarter and Dallas seemingly gained confidence with each passing minute. A jumper by Harrison Barnes (28 points, 12-24 FG) gave the Mavs a 64-63 lead with 8 minutes remaining and suddenly another awful loss seemed likely.

But then Isaiah Thomas took over. He scored 20 points over the final 6 minutes. There was the twisting lay-up. The 29-foot bomb. The nifty between the legs pass to Bradley on the fast break. And let’s not forget the parade of free throws. He did it all. 

The Celtics didn’t play well and beat a mediocre team. Without Horford and Crowder, I’ll take it.

The Green

The Celtics out-rebounded the Mavs, 53-32. No, I’m not kidding. But don’t get too excited, the Mavs are one of the few teams worse than Boston in rebounding.

Avery Bradley owned the 1st quarter and Isaiah Thomas dominated the 4th, but a few other Celtics made some key plays. Marcus Smart’s sick strip on Harrison Barnes (see below) ignited the 4th quarter spurt. Jonas Jerebko (7 rebounds in 24 minutes) hustled his ass off. Gerald Green had 3 nifty assists that kept the Celtics from sinking completely in the 3rd quarter.

Gross

The middle of this game was hideous. The Celtics had 29 points in the 1st quarter and 28 in the 2nd and 3rd quarters combined.

JJ Barea crumpled to the court in serious pain in the 4th quarter. We feared it was an Achilles tear, but it appears to be a calf strain.

Greenlights

IT between the legs to AB

IT with the sweet drive

Marcus strips Barnes and dishes to IT

The Grid

  • Prior to tonight, Dallas had won 11 of 12 vs Boston
  • Celtics 4-0 when they out-rebound opponents
  • Boston with 44 points in the paint, 26 for Dallas

Box score

“Maybe it will even out our numbers and make them less dreadful,” Brad Stevens on his team’s +21 rebounding advantage.